Materials Science News

Superlattice Study Reveals Gear-Like Molecular-Scale Machines

April 8, 2014

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A newly published study from researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology reveals how superlattices create molecular machines with hydrogen-bond “hinges” and moving “gears.” A combined computational and experimental study of self-assembled silver-based structures known as superlattices has revealed an unusual and unexpected behavior: arrays of gear-like molecular-scale machines that rotate in unison when pressure […]

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Stanford Engineers Improve Flexible Carbon Nanotube Circuits

March 20, 2014

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Researchers at Stanford University have developed a process to make flexible carbon nanotube circuits more reliable and efficient, paving the way for digital devices that bend. Engineers would love to create flexible electronic devices, such as e-readers that could be folded to fit into a pocket. One approach involves designing circuits based on electronic fibers, […]

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Graphene Light Detector Has the Potential to Put Heat Vision Technology into a Contact Lens

March 19, 2014

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Researchers from the University of Michigan used an insulating barrier layer between two graphene sheets to develop the first graphene photodetectors with ultra-broadband and high responsivity at room temperature. Ann Arbor — The first room-temperature light detector that can sense the full infrared spectrum has the potential to put heat vision technology into a contact […]

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Researchers Produce Uniform Antimony Nanocrystals for the First Time

March 18, 2014

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Researchers have produced uniform antimony nanocrystals for the first time, taking a big step forward in the exploration of alternative energy storage. Researchers from Empa and ETH Zurich have succeeded for the first time to produce uniform antimony nanocrystals. Tested as components of laboratory batteries, these are able to store a large number of both […]

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Argonne Researchers Develop New Technique for Creating Nanoalloys

March 5, 2014

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Researchers from the Argonne National Laboratory have developed a new technique for creating nanoalloys. Argonne, Illinois – Since the dawn of the Bronze Age, people have appreciated the advantages of using alloys rather than single metals to make better materials. Recently, scientists have discovered a recipe for making tiny two-metal structures that could similarly expand […]

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Researchers Combine Excited States of Two Materials into a New Quantum Mechanical State

March 3, 2014

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A team of researchers has taken the excited states of two principally different materials and combined them into a new quantum mechanical state that shares their best properties. Ann Arbor — Like a spring connecting two swings, light can act as photon glue that binds together the quantum mechanical properties of two vastly different materials. […]

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New State of Matter Known as “Disordered Hyperuniformity” Discovered in the Cells in a Chicken’s Eye

February 25, 2014

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Researchers have discovered the first known biological occurrence of a potentially new state of matter known as “disordered hyperuniformity” in the cells in a chicken’s eye. Along with eggs, soup and rubber toys, the list of the chicken’s most lasting legacies may eventually include advanced materials such as self-organizing colloids, or optics that can transmit […]

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Glass Sponge Produces a Perfectly Periodic Three-Dimensional Protein/Silica Mesoporous Structure

February 24, 2014

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Researchers from the Max Planck Institute have discovered that the marine sponge Monorhaphis chuni forms a glass filament with a perfect periodic arrangement of nanopores employing a similar method that is used for fabrication of man-made mesoporous nanomaterials. Materials made by man and those made by biological organisms often deal with similar synthesis challenges – […]

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Cheap, Oxide-Based Materials Boost Promise of Hydrogen Fuel

February 24, 2014

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Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have combined cheap, oxide-based materials to split water into hydrogen and oxygen gases using solar energy with a solar-to-hydrogen conversion efficiency of 1.7 percent, the highest reported for any oxide-based photoelectrode system. Generating electricity is not the only way to turn sunlight into energy we can use on demand. […]

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Researchers Develop Graphene Membrane Water Filters

February 18, 2014

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Scientists at the University of Manchester have developed graphene membrane water filters that offer precise and fast sieving of salts and organic molecules. Graphene has proven itself as a wonder material with a vast range of unique properties. Among the least-known marvels of graphene is its strange love affair with water. Graphene is hydrophobic – […]

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Silicon Nanoparticles Clustered Like Pomegranate Seeds Solve Problems for Lithium-Ion Batteries

February 17, 2014

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Using a microemulsion technique, researchers at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have developed a new lithium-ion battery design that uses silicon nanoparticles clustered like pomegranate seeds. Menlo Park, California — An electrode designed like a pomegranate – with silicon nanoparticles clustered like seeds in a tough carbon rind – overcomes several remaining obstacles to using […]

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Carbon Nanotube Fibers Outperform Traditional Copper Cables

February 14, 2014

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A new study from Rice University shows that carbon nanotube fibers have greater capacity to carry electrical current than traditional copper cables of the same mass. On a pound-per-pound basis, carbon nanotube-based fibers invented at Rice University have greater capacity to carry electrical current than copper cables of the same mass, according to new research. […]

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